Criminal Records owner Eric Levin has purchased local Atlanta business Aurora Coffee. The latter has two coffee locations – one directly next store to Criminal and another in the city’s Virginia Highlands district.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Levin says the two coffeehouses average about 350 customers per day and do about $2 million in sales per year. Levin, who also heads the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), says both Aurora locations will be outfitted with music content and be included in AIMS’ retail programs.
“Besides the extra real estate for more stuff, coffee is a wonderful margin item,” Levin says. “For someone accustomed to marking stuff up 20 percent, the notion of having something with as a high a margin as food is incredibly exciting.”
Levin has been in discussions with Aurora owner Betsy Buckley since the beginning of the year. At its height, Aurora was four stores deep, but has operated as two locations for about two years. Levin also inherits Aurora’s wholesale business, which sells coffee to local businesses.
“It got to a position where it was good for her and good for me,” Levin says. “If Aurora was totally rocking, it wouldn’t have been for sale and I wouldn’t have been able to buy it. If it were much lower, it wouldn’t have been enough money to exit.”
In other AIMS news, San Diego’s M Theory opened a second location on Friday, Nov. 11. The second location is in San Diego’s Mission Hills neighborhood.